The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting at St. Edward’s provides rigorous artistic training balanced with business preparation, encouraging the development of essential skills necessary to be successful on both stage and screen.
Recognized as “the gold standard” of theater degrees, the BFA in Acting prepares you to compete in today’s global market or enter into a top-tier graduate program. Students completing the program are able to effectively market their talent and are prepared to work in both traditional arenas and new media technologies. Graduates regularly secure agency representation and work in a variety of markets throughout the country.
St. Edward’s University’s Mary Moody Northen Theatre (MMNT) operates on a professional model and stands at the center of the actor-training program. MMNT produces a full season in association with Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. MMNT is one of the few undergraduate-only institutions producing a full season under an AEA contract. This agreement allows you the unique opportunity to work alongside seasoned professionals and earn points toward Equity membership. You'll be surrounded by the best in the business with our location in Austin — one of the nation’s top cities for year-round film production.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting
As a BFA in Acting major, you’ll be immersed in the craft of acting — learning every aspect of performance to reach your full artistic potential. You’ll explore the process of acting, period styles, theater history, play analysis, voice and speech, dialects, movement, and acting for the camera. You’ll gain valuable experience by participating in our Professional Development Series, which includes workshops on voiceovers, commercial copy and other media. And you’ll receive training in the business side of the arts and the auditioning process for stage and screen.
BFA in Acting students audition for roles at the acclaimed Mary Moody Northern Theatre at St. Edward’s and work with a variety of guest artists. Students who are cast in main stage productions can accrue Equity Membership Candidate points, leading toward potential union membership in Actors’ Equity Association.
Career opportunities with this degree span the entire entertainment industry — including roles in theater, film, television, new media, radio and video gaming. Audition opportunities are more abundant than ever before, as casting agents access a wider pool of talent through digital casting resources.
In addition to the general education courses required of all majors, BFA in Acting majors take courses from these groups:
Students who major in Acting complete core courses, which include Theater Skills (Stagecraft, Lighting, Costume and Makeup), Performance, Theater Practicum, Design for Performance, Play Analysis and Theater History.
BFA in Acting majors complete supporting courses, which include Acting for the Camera, Applied Voice, Exploration of Movement, Professional Preparation and upper-level performance and voice courses.
Students are selected for admission into the competitive BFA in Acting program based on an audition and interview with the performance faculty. This process is designed to direct students to appropriate theater programs, help them graduate within four years and best serve their overall educational experience.
BFA in Acting majors create an original solo performance in their junior year. This work will be presented for the public at Mary Moody Northern Theatre.
Seniors in the BFA in Acting program collaborate with faculty mentors and perform in a professional showcase for talent agents, casting directors and industry professionals. These faculty-directed, quality productions are the culmination of your training as a professional actor and can lead to roles in television and film projects. The Senior Showcase is held in Austin, with potential expansion to national markets in the future.
View the Degree Plan (PDF) for sample course information for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting.
BFA in Acting majors can choose to participate in internships (noncredit-earning) with professional performing arts companies. An internship is an excellent way to develop your craft while collaborating and networking with seasoned professionals. These experiences are an outstanding addition to your résumé and provide a distinct advantage in the business world and for graduate school.
Potential internships for BFA in Acting majors include:
- Austin Lyric Opera
- Cirque de Soleil
- Scottish Rite Children’s Theatre (Austin)
- South by Southwest SXSW® Film Conference and Music Festival
- Austin Film Commission
- Temple Civic Theatre (Temple)
- The Ensemble Theatre (Houston)
BFA in Acting students are invited to participate in several professional/educational conferences throughout the year, as well as opportunities such as these:
- The St. Edward’s student-run, service-oriented Transit Theatre Troupe, as writers, directors, performers, designers and administrators
- The St. Edward’s 10-Minute Play Festival, as writers, directors, actors, designers and administrators
- The Frontera/Hyde Park Fringe Festival, as stage managers, sound designers, lighting designers, actors and house managers